Tele2 Latvia hits 500MBps on pre-5G network with Nokia

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Tele2 Latvia has finished its installation of Nokia’s 5G-ready technology in two locations and increased download speeds fivefold in its first trials.

Since October the operator has been working with Nokia to install its 5G-Ready Nokia AirScale hardware and software on base stations in the Ziepniekkalns district of capital Riga and the nearby town of Talsi. The same equipment will also be installed on its base stations in Valmiera, in the north of the country, by the end of the year.

The first tests on the now-complete infrastructure have shown speeds of 500MBps, which the operator said was five times that offered by its LTE network.

Tele2 plans to continue to increase the throughput of base stations to 28GBps, which will offer speeds of up to 1GBps to users.

Chairman Valdis Vancovičs said the operator has reserved spectrum in the 3.6GHz band for 5G services to allow its clients to be “among the first” to enjoy the advantages of 5G.

“Now we have everything we need in Tele2 infrastructure so we could start providing 5G mobile network and Internet services,” said Vancovičs.

However, he predicted that it would take more than two years for most users to get devices capable of supporting 5G technology.

Peter Wennerström, Head of the Nordic customer team at Nokia, said: “Nokia has defined a comprehensive portfolio of technologies and services that allows operators to smoothly move to 5G.”

Telia and Rostelecom have both worked with Nokia on 5G projects this year.

The vendor refreshed its AirScale product line in September.